Archive for the ‘paterfamilias’ Category

I must confess that a smattering of cheer floats in this third cup of coffee or, more likely, comes via this morning’s Wall Street Journal article called ‘Friendship for Guys (No Tears!)

An explanation may be in order.

Allow me to begin it with an uncharacteristically (for a man, apparently) dramatic statement: I have guy friends who would die for me. They’ve never told me so, yet I know this to be true. I would die for them, too. Pardon the whiff of melodrama, these are just the facts. (more…)

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Because I’ve grown to trust the Costco buyers, I didn’t hesitate to snag this gizmo online when my furtive attention fixed itself upon the need to secure the slides and photos our family had accumulated.

Many hours of digitization later, I have no regrets.

I rock with delight as I discover slide-bound memories one at a time in the process of scanning them into the iPhoto library of my MacBook Pro. iPhoto or the software that comes with the PrimeFilm PF7265Ou permits the rescue of legacy-rich but tragically underexposed (or overexposed) slides.

I could hardly be more enthusiastic about the value of this product. You can go upscale and secure greater control of your images, as a friend urged me to do. Or, you can tread the economical path and come away, as I have, one very happy scanner-camper.

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Our two Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not particularly determined chewers. Yet every once in a while, always while no humans are home, the Spirit of Chewing visits our abode. Havoc ensues.

After trying all manner of cheaper alternatives, we settled upon the Orvis TouchChew Dog’s Nest bed, one oval the other rectangular.

Problem solved. Rosie and Sammy love their new beds—although their embroidered names have not proved to them persuasively which dog belongs in which bed.

Better yet, the Chew Spirits have fled, frustrated—nay, vanquished!—from the neighborhood.

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We’re a family of dogs, cats, people, and multiple stories. Peace and harmony depend on each of us staying where he or she belongs.

Enter the Orvis Hardware Door Frame Containment Gate. We use this exceptionally well-built pet gate at the bottom of the stairs that lead from the ground floor to the second. Dogs belong below, cat above, people on both.

The product is sturdier than anticipated. WIth a little practice, those of us who enjoy movable thumbs are able to let ourselves through the gate with a full load of laundry in one arm and just one hand for gate operation. Over the years we’ve owned many ‘dog gates’. This one is the best.

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I confess: I didn’t know how may book I owned. My guess would not even have come close.

Worse, from time to time I sold a handful of books used on Amazon, only to find that when an order came through I couldn’t locate the book. In order to provide reasonable service, I ended up refunding the purchaser his money then buying the same book from a third party and sending it to him. Although I reaped the satisfaction of having done the same thing, I also lost money on such deals, which happened more than once. Worse, I realized I couldn’t find a book when I needed to.

Clearly, I needed four things: a decent piece of home-library software, a basic understanding of an organizational system, access to a database that catalogues books I own according to the chosen organizational system, and considerable time to catalogue the books. I began to imagine that I could to this thing. (more…)

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In our home, a morning without coffee is not anything like a day without sunshine. It’s more like a dark and terrifying nightmare that never ends with a soundtrack of Eagles tunes sung by the young Madonna (‘You can check out anytime you want but you can never, ever leave’).

Much, then, was my joy when the Good Wife determined that the semi-human gasping sounds that accompanied every morning’s brew time on my old coffee maker now justified the purchase of a replacement. Having done her homework, she tracked down a Cuisinart DCC-220 Brew Central 14-Cup Coffeemaker for a song at the local Macy’s. (more…)

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It’s a shame that US immigration policy and the reality on the ground are so chaotic. If it were not so, it might be a simple matter to figure out what a body needs to do in order to employ, say, a housecleaner to come in for a few hours a month.

It is not simple and, so, a guide like this is needed.

The Nanny and Domestic Help Legal Kit is a model of clarity and accessible tools. (more…)

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My basement office—a.k.a. ‘the man cave’—is for me not unlike the Garden of Eden. Still, about 20 mornings per year it’s just a little too cold.

I could attack this with the home heating equivalent of using a hammer to kill a mosquito, turning up the heat and arming every single corner of the place to about five degrees above the status quo. But that costs money.

Instead, I bought the Presto HeatDish Plus Footlight two years ago for those cold winter days when my favorite space in the house needs just a touch of extra warmth. It’s got good adjustment and, with a little practice, can be focused on the area where I sit in front of my desk in my stocking feet and do the thing I do.

I recommend this economical, highly concentrated, easily adjustable solution to one of life’s cold zones.

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I’ve owned five GPS units. The Sony NVU73T is the best of them. I picked mine up at a Radio Shack in a hurry when my Garmin fritzed out like those old 1960s black-and-white pictures of what would happen to your TV if the Soviets snuck one through our defenses onto, say, an unsuspecting Kansas City.

Googling ‘Russians drop atomic bomb’ has not yielded any news reports but I sure am glad I listened to the Seattle techie at the Shack who said ‘this is a new product and it’s better than anything you’ve ever seen.’ He was right. (more…)

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This is the second Black & Decker Complete Guide that I’ve used to good effect in my battle to overcome being born and raised as the quintessential not handy guy while tending to as much of the care and feeding of our 1930s-era home as I can.

I”m not there yet. (more…)

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